Kelly: Pass Rush The Issue On Third Down

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Chip Kelly could have offered a generic answer about the front end and the back end working together.

He could have expanded on how disappointed he was with the penalties, or even just given credit to Tom Brady. But when asked about the issues the Eagles are having on third down, Kelly pointed directly to the guys up front.

“We need to generate a better pass rush,” he said. “I think our defensive line needs to do a better job in terms of what their rush contains are. We had the one play with [Ryan] Mallett where Marcus [Smith II] does a nice job, makes him flush up in the pocket, but we got nobody on that side containing the quarterback, and you let the quarterback scramble for a touchdown.” Read more »

Frustrated Kelly Sounds Off On Penalties

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. — When Eagles players returned to the locker room following their 42-35 loss to the Patriots Friday night, they were greeted by a frustrated and stern Chip Kelly.

“Very strong,” said Cary Williams, when asked about the head coach’s message. “You could tell that he was frustrated. You could tell that he was upset about it. He wasn’t very happy about the way we played.

“He said he’s frustrated about penalties. He said that he wanted us to be better. We don’t practice like that. We shouldn’t play like that. We’ve gotta get our butts in gear and do something about it.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Checking In On Marcus Smith

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

At one point during 7-on-7s Wednesday, Marcus Smith found himself one-on-on with Jordan Matthews.

Smith stayed with the wideout well down field and was in decent position as the pass sailed to the corner of the end zone, but Matthews elevated and snagged the ball out of the air. Touchdown.

Or was it? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Three Leftovers From Davis

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis met with reporters Sunday. Below are three things that stood out.

1. We’ve written plenty in this space about the high number of snaps guys like DeMeco Ryans and Connor Barwin played last year. Part of that had to do with the defense’s inability to get off the field. Part of it had to do with the team’s lack of depth at certain spots. Part of it had to do with pace and style of the offense.

But going forward, Davis wants to get those guys off the field a little bit more.

“It’s something we are very concerned about,” he said. “We don’t want any of them to play all the snaps. It’s too many snaps for any one defensive player. We know we had way too many. It benefits both us and the player and DeMeco or Mychal [Kendricks] that we get a rotation in there, too. We’ll get that rotation all the time through different packages and with the addition like you touched on of some new players. It will give us a little bit more flexibility. Read more »

Braman’s Long, Hard Road to Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Bryan Braman was born to be a professional athlete. His maternal grandfather, Ivan Cecil Braman, stood at 7-4 and weighed 365 pounds. His mother, Tina Braman-Fields, was an elite sprinter in high school in which she was part of a four-girl state champion track team and held the 100 meters school record.

That’s why it’s no surprise Braman is a 6-5, 241-pound “athletic freak” as described by many of his teammates. When he was in high school, his track and field coaches expected him to be an Olympian before he chose to pursue football. On the gridiron, he routinely ran around offensive linemen untouched to tackle ball-carriers in the backfield. Read more »

Connor Barwin’s Make the World Better Foundation’s Ralph Brooks Park Fundraiser

Connor-Barwin-Ralph-Brooks-Park-01-Ade-Fuqua-Richard-Negrin-City-of-Philadelphia-Jeffrey-Tubbs-Connor-Barwin-940x540

It was only a few weeks ago I was writing about Bud Selig’s visit to Philadelphia and his comments about the Phillies being the most philanthropic team in the MLB. The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t too shabby, either. There’s Brent Celek’s “Take Flight” Foundation for kids’ education, DeMeco Ryan’s Foundation supporting children’s healthy eating, and Todd Herremans Foundation, which raises money for various children’s charities in need.

Now Connor Barwin has started a foundation called the Make the World Better Foundation (MTWB is an acronym for his parents’ names: Margret Thomas and William Barwin). Friday night Barwin hosted a concert at Union Transfer to raise money for Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker Streets, a park in need of renovation that Barwin would pass on his bike rides to “work” from his Rittenhouse Square residence. Plans were already underway to revitalize the park; they just needed that extra push — including money to meet the goals set out by the organizations that were in place, including Urban Roots, the ACE Mentor Program, and the Philadelphia Water Department.

The major fundraiser to get them over the hurdle was held Friday night at Union Transfer where Connor Barwin hosted a VIP cocktail party were fans could meet their favorite players. Afterward there was a concert where Kurt Vile and the Violators, The Districts and The Tontons played to a sold-out crowd. The artists donated their services to the organization as did the music hall, along with all proceeds from the bar that evening. When the total is tallied, Connor Barwin is going to match it. In no time, the Ralph Brooks Park will be a safe place for kids to play again.

Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation’s Ralph Brooks Park Fundraiser »

Davis: Smith Will Help With ‘Mirrored’ Defense

Marcus Smith II

Billy Davis wants a mirrored defense.

The Eagles’ defensive coordinator spoke Monday for the first time since the team used a first-round pick on outside linebacker Marcus Smith. Smith has been practicing at the Jack spot this spring – the position occupied last year by Connor Barwin. Davis provided insight on what the plan is for the Birds’ rookie.

“Marcus is a young guy that we had to start at a position to learn it,” he said. “The positions can be mirrored or they can take on little different variations depending on who’s out there – who’s out there at that time or even in a series. So it’s very flexible what I can do with the Jack and the Predator. But Marcus, we started at the Jack. There’s probably a little bit more versatility and movement. More of what he did in college was the Jack so we started him there. But I’m willing to bet once he settles down a little bit he can go either side.” Read more »

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